As far as recent events go, I think Ross puts it best.
In so far as the world's policeman has decided to lock himself in the station and smoke his way through the evidence locker, it looks like we're screwed. Still, let's see if we can grasp at a few straws while we wait for Mark Steyn's new book 'Some Parts Of New Hampshire Alone'.
First up, let's admit that the schadenfreude aspect is a guilty pleasure. Who isn't sick of US bloggers sneering at Euro-peons
and their stoopid, socialist ways? Now the Land of the Free has become the Land of the Freebie, at least we won't have to hear any more from the 'Nuke Europe!' loonies
Not that Europe doesn't deserve plenty of criticism. Whatever the obvious advantages of life under the US defence umbrella, it has been a powerful factor in Europe's descent into Po-Mo madness. Not only has it freed Europeans from the financial burden of defending themselves, it's freed them from the psychological aspect of it too. In effect, we have become a continent of scroungers, with all the pathologies that implies. Now, finally, it looks like Europe will have to take responsibility for its own survival.
In so far as this new world demands greater European cooperation on rebuilding our barely-present defences, that means the EU is in trouble. That might seem like a paradox, but it isn't really. When Eurocrats talk about an EU Army and the like, they talk about it as a natural outgrowth of the EU, complete with a Commissioner for Artillery, with a staff of 10 000 and offices in St Tropez. In other words, a method for pushing federalism rather than actually achieving anything. The times are too serious for that: we really do need to get something in the field ASAP and, as luck would have it, we already have an alternative model for the common defence in NATO - and all without the bureaucracy or the sleaze.
The EU apologists have always exploited a false duality: you've either accept Brussels and the Common European Paperclip, or you're a Little Englander/Frenchie/German/Czech.... ad infinitum
. It's either some guy from Athens ruling on the bus timetables in Manchester, or you'll need to apply six months in advance for a visa to go on a booze cruise. NATO neatly debunks that theory. European troops can work together just fine, even while still maintaining their own doctrines and traditions.
It's not all grim. In so far as the US is retreating from the world, that's going to open up commercial opportunities for someone, why not a Europe that's finally having to stop sponging and start pulling its weight?
Then there's The Issue
. Actually, I give it ten days until all the folks who demanded America elect Obama as the ultimate in slavery reparations suddenly decide America is still AmeriKKKa after all. The folks who invented 'institutional racism' aren't going to let a little thing like a black president derail the gravy train, but at least some of the conservative movements' alleged intellectuals might finally swallow a clue pill and realise there's no point 'reaching out' to these loonies. They're making a life and a living stirring up racial antagonism and the only way conservatives can possibly appease is to stop being conservative.
Similarly, in so far as liberalism depends at least in part on white guilt, that's going to be a tough sell with charmers like the Reverund Wrrrright stopping by the White House for afternoon tea. We might finally be seeing the end of the cultural cringe in which it's obligatory to claim all cultures are equal, except western culture which is the worst evah!
The coming freak show has the additional benefit of hopefully finishing off libertarianism as a political force. In so far as this position mainly consists of loftily denouncing right and left as, like, totally the same, maaaaan
, its going to be tested to destruction in the next four years. Ditto, back home in a Europe facing up to the realities of the modern world, I don't expect whining about the vital importance of the right to smear your naked body with marmite and run down the high street will be a big seller.
It's going to take an exceptional leader to repair the damage from four years of these loonies in power, and fortunately it looks like the conservative movement has found one. After a reception that makes the Salem witch trials look restrained, the closest the left came to landing a glove on Sarah Palin was claiming that she was 'inexperienced'. Well, that problem will solve itself soon enough.
Note too that in amongst all these disasters, Proposition 8, an initiative blocking gay marriage, passed in California. Yep, that
California! Hey, are we sure it's conservatism that's the problem, rather than, say, the appalling quality of conservative politicians?
Which brings me on to my next point. Considering John McCain's descent from principled maverick to senile demagogue, why are conservatives still supposed to be impressed by candidates who are popular with the MSM? McCain was an MSM pin-up just as long as he denounced the conservative movement, but as soon as he became a threat to the left, he was a shuffling embarrassment. Key point: any conservative can be hailed as a courageous truth teller for denouncing the right, but don't think the MSM will call them in the morning. Hopefully, the point will finally hit home with some conservatives.
The flip-side is the number of 'moderate conservatives' who hailed John McCain as the right choice, shortly before slithering over to the Obamamessiah's side. Again, I'm hoping the conservative movement's face cards will finally realise that there's no point trying to appeal to people who prefer the low-conservatism candidate, since sooner or later they'll switch to the candidate with no conservatism at all anyway.
Finally, let's return to the beginning. Specifically, what was really wrong with the ranters over at lgf and the like was this: America might indeed have been less socialist than Europe, but that reflected the hard work and commitment of past and present generations of the American right - it wasn't some God-given state of grace. Large parts of the American right forgot that, and now the US is U/S for at least four years. But whatever happens to America, the American ideal lives on, because it is a good one.